Summertime. My mom took that picture during my little sister's birthday party in May. The white stuff flying around is fake snow spray, because last year, at my school carnival, my class had the brilliant idea of selling fake snow spray in cans, and not only did we make, probably, the most profit out of any of the other Form 3 classes, we also turned the entire school campus grounds into a giant snow spray fight. I mean that.The teachers even had to make a public announcement for the kids to not get carried away and spray any of the food being sold, or at each other's eyes and mouths. Because obviously the stuff is poisonous. Some people were drenched by the end of the day - like soaking wet, because once the snow melts, it just leaves like a sticky wet feeling if it were a little, but if it was a lot (and some girls sprayed the guys way too much) it'd melt into like water instead.But it was funny, and it was fun.The snow fights actually started from about two weeks before the carnival, because the school had this idea that pre-promotion could help boost sales. And it did. All the other classes were hooked on the stuff, like it was a drug, and they had millions of spontaneous fights and attacks in-class. So, everytime their ammunition ran out... ka-ching. My class had to keep getting their supplies restocked, and our stall was crowded the whole day when carnival rolled around.Anyway, my mom brought my siblings to the carnival, of course. And my little brother liked the stuff (well, of course - he loves water guns, what more fake snow) so my mom bought him a can or two at first, but then they ran out. So, she bought more. Then, she thought they'd be good to buy for my sister and her friends to play with, or as presents.So, she bought more - I think we had about 10 cans or significantly more than that. I don't really remember because we used a few of them up real fast, and when we came home, we still had more fights.But this isn't the point of my post. I just felt like talking about the snow spray cans, and sharing that pretty picture which I generously Picnik-ed. Yeah, not Photo-shopped.Okay, let's move on to what I really wanted to discuss: angels.Do any of you believe in them? Like, do you really think we have guardian angels, all of us? Well, thanks to Janella so kindly introducing me to this story on FictionPress.com... I started thinking about it, and then I remembered.My siblings and I had a little experience when we were really young, as in I think I was either eight or nine, ten at the most, at Centrepoint. For people who don't know where or what that is, just think of it as a your local neighborhood shopping complex - not a mall, smaller - where there's a playground, supermarket, bookstore, etc.It's a place near where my old house is, and my mom used to take us there all the time, especially for after-church lunches, on Sunday, at the bakery there.So, I guess it had been on one of those Sundays, and we'd just finished having lunch, and had run off to play in the playground, as usual. My idea of church then, was Sunday School, which is for small kids and you basically sing songs and listen to stories or play games while your parents sit in the service upstairs.I think I had won a ball through one of the games that Sunday or someone had given it to me, and it was a real squishy, bouncy ball, too. Of, course we were still playing with it, bouncing it up and down and throwing it around...until it bounced up and over the railing nearby, and fell into the drain near the car-park area below.I thought we could just go down and get it, but then I noticed the solid metal bars which barred the drain from the car-park, so we wouldn't be able to reach it (or at least, that's what 'young' me thought) even if we tried. I remember thinking up all sorts of solutions to fix my problem, and asking my older brother for help. I really wanted my ball back, after all.Just then, as I'd been looking down at the drain, staring longingly at my ball, I heard a lady ask from the bench nearby, "Are you looking for this?" and there on the bench, was my ball. Seriously.The funny thing was, I wasn't the least bit shocked. I just looked back over the railing at the drain, wondering how she could have gotten to my ball so fast and back (it'd only been down there for five minutes at the most), and stared back down, checking to see if maybe she had just somehow been bizarrely nice and bought me a new ball, but no.The only thing down in the drain now was a yellow-green ball, and my ball was distinctly red. Just like the ball, which sat innocently on the wooden bench in front of me, next to the still-smiling lady. She really did look nice. She was Chinese, and her hair was cropped at her shoulders, or maybe it was longer, and she was dressed as if she had just come from the office, in a grey skirt-suit and high-heels.I gingerly stepped forward, took the ball - I don't remember if it felt slimy from the drain or not - and walked away from her, turning my back. I can't remember if I even said a simple 'Thank you' but I guess I was just so surprised I forgot my manners.And guess what? It felt like she'd just disappeared as suddenly as she'd appeared. I mean, I'm sure I must've looked back once I got to my siblings, and I don't remember seeing her still sitting on the bench or anywhere nearby.Another strange thing would be the fact that she hadn't been carrying a handbag with her, and I mean, everyone, especially an office-worker, would have their handbag with them at all times. Oh, and did I mention it was a Sunday, and there's obviously no such thing as office work on Sunday?Even her stance was kind of different, you could say. She wasn't just sitting on the bench - she was relaxing on it, with her arm draped on the top of the bench, as if she hadn't a care in the world. When I told this to my mom then, she reminded me of another incident that had also happened in Centrepoint.That incident happened maybe a few months, or a year or more, before the previous one. We'd been playing - all of us, my brothers, my sister and I - at the very same playground where I'd lost the ball, while my mom was at the supermarket doing some grocery shopping. When she came back, she looked around and suddenly panicked because my little sister had disappeared.Now, for a little girl, no more than three or four years old, getting lost, is dangerous enough. But when the said little girl is also a special-needs child, it makes things ten-times more frightening. My mom was furious at my brothers and me for not looking after her better.We went searching for her immediately, of course. I ran off in the direction of a gift shop, which was near one of the entrances which lead to the outer part of the building, and on a hunch, went outside. I was completely relieved that my sister was safe, and she was right there, in front of me, sitting down beside a teenage girl, who appeared to be sketching or writing in a notebook.They were a ways away from me, about a few shop-blocks to the left of the entrance I'd come out of, and my sister was just peering over at the notebook, watching whatever the girl was doing. When I called to my sister to come - I didn't go over to the older girl because I was intimidated, yes - and she did, the older girl just got up too, and didn't even glance at my direction, her eyes focused on the road as if she saw something she'd been expecting, and walked away, down the steps, and out of sight.I don't remember if she got into a waiting car, or not.All I know is that she had seemed completely at ease with my little sister watching her, and hadn't even been worried that a small girl had appeared out of nowhere and had sat down next to her. I mean, normal people would've looked around for parents, or at least, when I came, acknowledged whoever it was that was looking for her.This girl didn't. As if it was her job to just sit there, and make sure my sister was entertained, until I found her. When I told my mom about the strange girl later, that was when my mom had first brought up the idea of her being an angel.Quite sometime ago, my mom had mentioned the concept of gateways between heaven and earth, and that they were usually specific places. So, I asked her if Centrepoint could be one. She said it might be possible, since we'd already had two experiences with angels there. Gateways are how angels enter and leave earth, apparently.Now, I know you might wonder why the angels didn't look like what we normally think angels look like, but really, angels can take on any form they want. There's even a testimony by a very famous man who was a drug-addict who'd been in and out of prison many times, and then became a Christian, and the leader of a revival movement in Canada.He'd been trying to talk to some people in a bar, a bar full of people who used to be like him, and none of them would listen and kept laughing at him. But, then, this guy with spiked hair, tattoos, piercings and everything, suddenly yelled, in a really fierce way, "Shut up. You listen to him."He believes it was an angel sent to help him. And the guy really looked messed up, like a regular low-life, who should've been laughing along with everyone else. Angels don't have to be dressed in white, with halos over their head, for them to be real.After all, you'd probably pass out if you did meet somebody who looked like that, and people wouldn't take their minds seriously, if they did see a sparkly, glittery angel in white robes trying to help them. It's pretty logical that angels would dress up as regular people, but do extraordinarily different things than what regular people would do.It's funny. I've never really thought about those experiences in such a long time. Maybe, because children really don't analyze things as much as adults do; they just accept what is for what it is. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked to meet another angel again. It's seems kind of normal. Well, to me.Strange things have happened to me before. I was once left a plastic-wrapped W Juliet manga, in my desk at school, a few days before my 15th birthday. It'd been left in there either during recess or during Life Skills class, which required all the girls in my class to file out to the adjacent class, and all the boys in that class to file in to my class, and take our seats.Because I had the luck of sitting right in front of the loudest, laziest, most trouble-making boys in my class, their equally as annoying friends always sat in my spot, and messed my place up for me. So, I assumed they'd just forgotten one of their usual toys. It wouldn't be the first time it had happened.I dumped it on the desk of the guy behind me - which was cluttered with his textbooks and exercise papers - and expected someone to take it. Nobody did.In fact, I asked him later, and he said he had no idea whose it was. I asked the guys in the next class - same answer. The girl next to me (the one who later never spoke to me again after my birthday) told me to keep it, because obviously, unless somebody announced they'd lost a nice, new manga over the morning assembly, I wasn't going to find it's owner anytime soon.I did keep it, and nobody ever came knocking for it.It was illegal to bring such stuff to school, anyhow. There was no way for whoever had lost it to find it unless the perpetrator of the steal revealed it's location. Though, I like to believe I had a secret admirer once, and that he gave it to me, especially since it did appear there after the class had been filled with boys, and only boys.But, sometimes, I just think some poor girl had it stolen out of her bag by some mean person, who just wanted to play a horrible trick on her, or to get revenge, and had stashed it in my desk, hoping nobody would find it, or that they could come back after school was over, and take it out of my desk, so the evidence could be disposed of permanently.But, then again. Why go through so much trouble? They might as well have dumped it in a trash bin. Nobody ever looks into those. Or flushed it down a toilet - trust me it happens. Unless they wanted to take it back home, but it'd be crazy to leave it in my desk - why not in one of their friends' in another class' desk?It's perplexing, yes. I guess I'll never know the mystery of how the manga wound up in my desk. Especially since I'm not attending that school anymore, and I'll be leaving the country permanently in two months.Yikes. I've talked and talked and talked out of my own point. Angels, right? Well, there isn't that much more to say, other than me letting you see this lovely snapshot I took of my avatar in Second Life looking so serene and peaceful on a bench.Oh, and for anyone who's interested in reading the aforementioned story that Janella introduced me to, here's the link: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/1610042/1/The_ContractTrust me, it's an incredible piece of work to read. If you love Twilight, you'll love this too (though, I think the author really needs a beta to proofread her chapters - they have spelling and word errors, including some grammatical ones, so you can really get confused for awhile - which is why I've heard she's rewriting it, and that's good).And if you love the first one, check out the sequel! It's on her author page, just scroll to the bottom - or I'll just link you, like the nice person that I am: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/1992575/1/The_Contract_III heard she's writing up another installment to this, as well. So ends another long, long, long and winding post which has made your eyes spill out of their sockets from boredom. (;One last thing:HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
My latest German band obsession - Panik!It all started when I was browsing a bunch of Tokio Hotel communities on LiveJournal. I was in one called Kaulitz Daily, and I saw the username Lirren, which instantly rung a bell with me because one of the admins on the Tokio Hotel International forums, is called Lirren. So, I added her as a friend, and I noticed her LJ header had a band called Panik on it.I checked them out, found the community PanikFans and joined, watched their videos on YouTube (because that's the only way to hear their full-length songs, as I searched high and low on the internet for their album and failed), and read their Wikipedia page.Actually, when I read their Wikipedia page, I was a little afraid to like them, as crazy as it sounds. I'll tell you why, but first let me point out who's who in the picture above (it might take awhile to tell them apart, especially when you watch their videos).Left to right: Linke, David, Juri, Franky, Jan, Timo.Can I admit that I have a crush on Jan? He looks damn hot in this picture, okay. They all do. I think only Timo doesn't have blue eyes, and only he and Franky don't have blond hair. You can't tell that the rest of them have blond hair, though.David and Linke dye their hair black, and Juri and Jan always wear caps. There was one interview I watched when Juri took his cap off, and I think I was staring at how blond his hair is, the whole time. Imagine if David and Linke didn't dye their hair. I'd be mesmerized.But I have to admit, I think their black hair is cute too.Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah. Why I was scared to like them.They have a very tragic background. Timo and David are childhood friends, and both of them had their dads leave when they were young. Timo begrudges his dad a lot, because his dad divorced his mother when he was a year old, and never supported them, so he was working by the time he was 15, and he and his mom were living in a one-room apartment.David's dad cheated on his mother, and left without a word. There's a song, So Wie Du, which he wrote based on his experiences with his dad. It's a very harsh song, and the lyrics practically scream anger. It makes me sad when I read the translation.Originally, David, Jan, Linke and Timo were in a band called Panik, since 2002, but when they got discovered in 2006, and Franky and Juri joined, they changed their name to Nevada Tan. After their first album - Niemand Hort Dich - was released in early 2007, bad stuff happened. Real bad.Their current management then, technically stole all the money they should have received from their album, and trademarked their name without them knowing. When they sued the company, and left, they had to change their name because legally, it wasn't theirs anymore. So, it was back to Panik.I know they still hate their old management for what they did, because I watched another interview where they were saying how they would probably beat up any new band the company produced, if they used their old name. I don't blame them.Anyhow, when I'd read up all of this, and looked at the translations of their lyrics, I did get just a bit intimidated. I'm not used to liking bands with such... vivid emotions... portrayed in their songs. Quite a few of their songs are full of feelings like resentment, bitterness, depression, etc.But I understand why they'd write such songs, after all. At least, they're being real and personal about their music. Sometimes, when I read interviews in the magazines with some artists, and they say that their entire album is full of songs which allow people to have fun, well, that just turns me off.Fun is good, but fun isn't what the world's like. Life isn't fun. Life sucks. I prefer listening to and having an album which gives you something to think about, and ponder. It helps you connect more with the music, when you know it's something personal to the artist.When you have that connection, that's when you start obsessing.Panik's music is admittedly much deeper than Tokio Hotel's is. Their lyrics are written in a story-telling style, and convey more fruit for you to chew on than TH's songs do. Okay, fruit to chew on is a rather lame line, but I don't care.I still love TH, okay! It's true; TH and Panik are two incredibly different bands. TH's songs are addictively awesome but their lyrics are pretty simple and straight-forward. I like to think that the reason for this, is because they started performing and recording when they were 12 to 14 years old. They all came from a small town, and although Tom and Bill's parents got a divorce too, their mom was remarried by the time they were seven, and it's because of their step-dad that they got into music (he used to be in a band).So, I doubt that they had much of a troubled childhood to base any of their songs on.I'd love to tell you more about Panik, but I've unfortunately, written a twenty-mile long blog post, once again. I don't think I'll ever stop writing essays when I post - I can't resist the temptation. Why don't I close this by saying that I'll definitely be keeping a close watch on Panik from now on. Maybe, one day, I'll see them grow, out of their unhappy and tainted background, and be able to forget their past.Maybe they can help me forget mine too.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Miss InvisibleThere's a girl Who sits under the bleachers Just another day eating alone And though she smiles There is something she's hiding And she can't find a way to relate She just goes unnoticed As the crowd passes by And she'll pretend to be busy When inside she just wants to cry And she'll say... Chorus Take a little look at the life of Miss Always Invisible Look a little harder, I really really want you to put yourself in her shoes Take another look at the face of Miss Always Invisible Look a little closer and maybe then you will see why she waits for the day When you'll ask her her name In the beginning, in the first weeks of class She did everything to try and fit in But the others they couldn't seem to get past all the things that mismatched on the surface And she would close her eyes when they laughed and she fell down the stairs And the more that they joked And the more that they screamed She retreated to where she is now And she'll sing... Chorus Take a little look at the life of Miss Always Invisible Look a little harder I really really want you to put yourself in her shoes Take another look at the face of Miss Always Invisible Look a little closer and maybe then you will see why she waits for the day that you will ask her...her name And one day just the same as the last Just the days spent in counting the time Came a boy who sat under the bleachers just a little bit further behind...The song above is by Marié Digby. I cried the very first time I listened to it. She didn't have friends growing up, and this song describes her experience. It's very different from normal songs, because you know the emotion behind it is real, and you know the hurt is real too.I used to feel exactly like this. I tried so hard, to make everyone like me, to be accepted, but nobody wanted me. I was a tag-along. The girl they let sit with them during recess, but when it came to group projects in class, she'd be the last one to be asked.I was the one who once had to sit out of an assignment because I was absent and nobody included me in their list. Really, I was invisible. When I was in primary school, the only two girls I hung out with, used to pretend I was a ghost and they couldn't hear me until it wasn't funny anymore, and I'd be upset but they wouldn't care.It was a fun game for them, but it wasn't for me, at all.In kindergarten, none of the other girls wanted to be my friend. I'd have no partner in ballet class. My teacher would ask me, "Which girl is your friend?", when I was partner-less, and I'd just point at the girl I wished was my friend, but wasn't.I would be best friends forever with girls for one year, and then it'd be as if we were strangers, when we passed by in the hallways. People only know that I quit school to take my O Levels, but the real reason I quit school was because I couldn't take it anymore.I couldn't stand another day spent reading alone in the library during recess, because I'd have nobody to sit with anymore in the canteen anyway. I couldn't take waking up early in the mornings to go to a place where I had to sit next to girls who dumped me the day after my 15th birthday.Girls who'd talk in Chinese on purpose, so I wouldn't understand what they were saying, so I wouldn't be able to join in, so they could talk about everything they disliked about me, right in front of my face. And I couldn't do a thing.I wasn't smart. I was failing school so badly. I'd skip two to three days a week, just to avoid seeing their faces, to avoid the teachers asking questions I couldn't answer, to avoid having to pretend I was fine. I wasn't. Far from it.I didn't care, then. I wanted to run away.Run away from my messed-up life.From my wrecked past relationships.From all the pain.From all the sadness.But as the last three lines of the song go... I didn't have to. I became a TC5 boardie instead.I know I always talk about this. I feel like I'm dwelling in the past, but I can't help it when I hear a song like this. It just reaches inside of me, and pierces my heart. It reminds me of everything I've gone through, but it also reminds me of everything I've gained after.(The avatars are just there as a pretty border to separate the song and the post, but I made them from the photographs taken by this girl - she's also the model, just so you know.)